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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

ACMI Generator


Australian Centre for the Moving Image






The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) was one of six major cultural organisations in Victoria, Australia to receive funding from the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to develop premium content for the FUSE portal. FUSE enables teachers to Find, Use and Share quality Education resources.

With the support of this funding, ACMI created an online creative studio - ACMI Generator. The website and interactive officially launched in September 2010.

ACMI Generator seeks to educate and encourage a vibrant young audience to develop strong storytelling skills in all screen mediums. While the creation of media is ubiquitous amongst young people, the principles of storytelling are often lost in the rush to upload the latest video and share with peers. As is well known, a well constructed story will stand miles apart from the hundreds of thousands of videos uploaded daily to YouTube.

The design of ACMI Generator is intended to encourage reflection on what makes a good story – a story that really works – and to provide a platform for students to gain expert knowledge and collaborate and share that knowledge with others. Students and teachers can share creative work and education resources, downloading from, and uploading to, the extensive and free library of film and other media. Generator is a highly engaging social media platform, but at the same time a safe environment, in which students and teachers can collaborate, engage in peer review and interact with each other. All content, including uploaded work, comments and tags, is moderated by the ACMI Screen Education team.

There are four main pathways that students can take through the site:

  • Be inspired – the Generator Gallery
  • Find out how – Learn from the Makers, Production Resources and the online storyboarding tool, Storyboard Generator
  • Download media – the Free Media Library
  • Add your own – a “crowd-sourcing” concept for building resources.

The Generator Gallery comprises more than 100 diverse stories which can be rated, shared via email and social media, selected as favourites, commented on and tagged and downloaded.

The Free Media Library consists of over 1000 individual copyright free items (video, images and audio files) that are able to be downloaded, re-used, adapted, remixed, mashed up and republished for educational purposes. Students can upload their own media to the library to share with the Generator community. Significantly, ACMI is moving to a Creative Commons model for the resources in the Free Media Library. From 2 March 2011, the Free Media Library will be governed by a Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial 3.0 Australian licence (outlined at In the forefront of best practice, the design of the page will ensure that the new Creative Commons licence will appear beside each piece of media with a model for how to attribute the creator in any credits.

A key feature is the Storyboard Generator - an interactive tool that demonstrates storyboarding concepts and allows students to build their own storyboard using resources from the free media library. The Storyboard Generator is a highly engaging interactive experience.

In the ‘Choose your script’ version, students can select from more than 90 professionally created cels to create a storyboard to match one or more of the three genres of script (horror, comedy and romance) provided on the site. This storyboard is then able to be published as an animatic and saved, shared, embedded and linked to by the student.

In the ‘Build your own’ version, a user can upload their own location photographs or source them from the Free Media Library, build their own visuals using silhouette characters and write their own script as well as embed, and share the final animated script and storyboard.

Supporting Generator is the ACMI Educators Lounge a collaborative space where teachers can explore the theory and practice of digital technologies and the ways in which they intersect with existing and emergent classroom practice. 

Based heavily on the E5 Instructional model used in Victorian Government Schools, ACMI Generator translates the 5 principles – Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate of this model into a web 2.0 site that enables teachers and students to utilise inspirational video content as models motivating them to create and then contribute their own learning processes and creative outcomes. The site provides rigorous educational scaffolding enabling teachers and learners to adapt and innovate with content in a myriad of ways to reflect individual needs, interests and creative passions for learners of all ages.

ACMI Generator is predicated upon strong learning principles enshrined in providing authentic and purposeful learning, about content that is of personal interest but of value to lifelong learning.  Learners are viewed as highly capable individuals who can work both independently and collaboratively integrating skills and using appropriate tools to solve problems or achieve goals creatively. To this end Generator is a productive creative studio that offers a supportive environment promoting independence and self- driven or self-motivated learning. Students are encouraged to engage in deep thinking about content and about creative processes and challenged to apply the ideas they encounter.  Most importantly Generator is innovative, providing a connection between current technologies and classroom practices, but also inspiring new ways to think about, to engage with and to share creative content and practices. ACMI Generator takes learning beyond the classroom and connects students with peers, professional practitioners and diverse creative communities.